the vigils
Tuesday, September 27, 2005 @ 5:36 PM 0 comments

Aunt Nancy Vigil, my mother's youngest sister, and her hispanic husband, Uncle Jose arrived Friday afternoon from Wisconsin. They were the only remaining relatives we have there after Aunt Linda, the eldest of Mama's sibling, succumbed to brain cancer a few years back and after her caucasian husband, Uncle Nathan remarried.

Weeks before their homecoming, I have already decided to steer clear of their way in every possible way I can. I did eight hours work so that I won't be home when they arrive and planned to leave right after I come home to change. But my parents, who picked them up at the airport, didn't left me any money so I had to wait for them nonetheless.

It's not that I didn't like them, it's just that I feel they are complete strangers to me now after Aunt Nancy have ignored a favor I asked from her thru a letter one time when I was still in grade school. We we're really close then before she went to the States to pursue College because she took care of me and my sister and I was really hurt about what she did that I never forgot about it.

The intros went swift much to my delight. I have managed to stay out of any long-conversation with them to my father's dismay, who enjoyed watching me speak in English while I talk to them. I really wanted to leave right after that but at their prodding, I went with them to the Market! Market! and bought some stuff. At first, I was slightly taken aback when Uncle Jose asked me what I want but thanks to my irate clients, I have already been used to American's cold way of conversing.

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Glory days are over, Don Felipe suffering from Alzheimer's. He was diagnosed with the disease after he lost a great deal of money in a partnership deal back in Wisconsin. He was said to be saving the money to fulfill his dream: Put up a gasoline station.

They bought me, Lael and Hansel new pair of sneakers each. I felt really grateful and wanted to offer something back. I tried to ask them if they already have Khaos anti-pollution device (which later I learned to be a gas-saving device, not anti-pollution) in their cars, that one made by a Filipino inventor which was reportedly being bought by the US for patent rights, and began thinking to buy them one. But after Uncle Jose began talking about SOH-whatever's and things about engines in the US that I have perfectly pretended to understand, I dropped the idea and refused to talk about it any further.

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No, that's not Mayon you see. This picture was taken with the Mayon behind me. This is the view of the Mayon Loop from the top. Remember Picnic Grove in Tagaytay?

Saturday morning, we went together to Bicol and arrived there about past seven in the evening. The reunion was a little touching, the sisters cried upon seeing my grandfather, who is suffering from Alzheimer's disease, because he doesn't seem to be well taken care of. We hit the karaoke that night as I took the time to bond with my cousins whom I rarely see.

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With my vacationing Aunt, Nancy.

Next morning, we went to the the grand Mayon Loop in Albay with the whole clan. It was said to be the closest tourist spot to the crater of the infamous Mayon Volcano, overlooking the whole town. We had our lunch there before we proceeded to Tiwi in search of the hot springs it has (or had) been famous for. We found out that the hot springs we we're looking for no longer exists after it has been taken on by a geothermal plant so we looked for Amater resort instead, a natural spring we have reached through Aunt Norma's memory. She recalled we went there back in 1988.

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With my vivacious Lola Guadalupe and her always-stern-looking, sister.

It was the only time again since I was a kid that I enjoyed being there in Bicol with all of them. Everyone was so nice, not too much of the questions about when I will graduate came, so no rounding up of accomplishments was needed, and everyone seemed to just enjoy the time being together. It is not everyday that my family feels like what families ought to be.

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My terrible cousins, with the great Mayon as a backdrop. Some things just don't fit. Hehe..

Much to my regret, I had to go back to Manila right after that for work. Leaving them at the resort, I took the bus with Lael and Hansel, who also had school, from Naga Monday afternoon. At 2 am, I am back to my workstation on the 19th floor of the RCBC Plaza feeling happy for the first time after a very long time.

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The Amater resort. I just wish I had more time.

i told you so.
Thursday, September 22, 2005 @ 12:57 PM 0 comments

This is the end of the first term of this year. I will have at least a week to prepare for the next term, if I will be able to enrol or if I would be readmitted again, that is.

Looking back, I think this has been the most perilous term for me in Mapua including my high school since 1996. And once again, I did not emerge victorious against the challenge.

This has always been me, I bravely put myself up to the test and rarely survive triumphantly. I always end up either half or brain dead and now I feel like a multiple-dead rotten animal.

My Aunt Nancy will be home from Wisconsin, with her husband, on Friday. And together with my family, we will go to Bicol over the weekend but I will be home before next week for work. I will also get to have the chance to have the eight-hour shift on the whole of next week and my coach, Tinx and Armi placed a bet if I could do just that.

One thing I still have to worry about is how to tell Mama about my Design 2 subject and my readmission status. Another test, after the other.. and the school's already over. Darn.

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the broken trap
Tuesday, September 20, 2005 @ 9:09 AM 0 comments

I could already smell the familiar stench of failure. Things hasn't been going as planned again. Mench broke up with me yesterday after she found my picture with Shiela on my friendster account and I have already given up my Design 2 class.

At this very moment, my classmates are taking the Finals for that class while I couldn't get myself to show up there again after I have decided not to finish the notebook compilation Mr. Larion has required us to pass. I never knew what really happened to his underground deal but I've heard he had canceled it because the issue has been very much talked about this term.

I know it was already a losing battle and I would just be wasting my time if I would still take the exams, let alone giving Mr. Larion another chance to humiliate me in front of the class. I better be ready for my appeal letter for it is now as sure as I-will-be-late-again-for-work-tonight, that I would get another kick-out status at the end of this term.

However, there's s still one possibility that I might not need it just yet. Mama asked me the other day if it's okay with me if I don't enrol next term. She said she doesn't know any more where to get the money to get me to school. And all I do is screw up my studies... I am such an ungrateful son, I don't deserve anything.

If it happens, it's going to be the first time in my entire life to be out of school since I was four years old. Now, I'm not sure if I should be happy that I would be able to give my work more time or I should feel bad that I will have to overstay longer in school. But honestly, I'm still scared of the idea of leaving school without a diploma in my hands.

Barely a few hours after Mench broke up with me, I feel that I couldn't manage to look at her in the eye ever again. She's completely convinced that I have cheated on her-just basing on the picture she have seen on my friendster (I never thought she would ever see my account) and that is just one of the many reasons she could find to stay mad at me and I can never blame her for that.

serbisyong tutong
Friday, September 16, 2005 @ 11:30 AM 0 comments

Paging Mike Enriquez!!! Engr. Larion is indirectly soliciting P1500 for each student (on a rocky status) for the Design class. I heard he's done that for several times now, but more rampant in the other school he teaches at, Adamson University. Perhaps he'd sensed that it is more unlikely for him to be caught there because he himself is a Mapuan.

Now, I'm torn to giving in or not. Considering also the fact that I only have a thousand bucks left in my card. And more so, I've heard that there were incidents that a student had paid but failed the subject nonetheless. Pathetic. What if that happens to me? Now that he knows me more than any other student in our class after he clashed out on me just the other day, I could be a potential victim.

Jesus Christ. The Design class is a 4-unit subject and I haven't done good in it. And I have given that pig another chance to press me deeper. He's an opportunist and I wish he gets caught.

on the same ground
Wednesday, September 14, 2005 @ 4:51 PM 0 comments

I'm not sure which is going to kill me first. Either my school or my job.

I never had a decent sleep for the past five days and I have been struggling with time to keep both my work and my studies. Almost every night, anyone can see me running in the rain as if playing hide and seek with the star-spangled bus, PVP Liner, the only bus line that goes from Manila to Ayala Avenue. Too bad, I was always the 'it'.

In spite of my new Coach's efforts to keep my records clean, by moving an hour or so my scheduled shift every time so that I won't appear 'late', I'd already exceeded the maximum number of absences last Friday because,being the appointed secretary, I really needed an off to give time to make the Student Certificates for the Field Trip class. Thus, I received a memo from my ex-coach, J.Lo, now a supervisor, sending me on a final reprimand status- one step away to suspension.

I got severely reprimanded by Engr. Larion this afternoon. I came in thirty minutes late for my quiz in his class because I had to finish the Design plate also for him. I had a share of his fury right on the Dean's office where he was loitering, almost in affirmation that I'm flunking the subject. He threatened me in front of the whole class, that he would make things really hard for me, as if it wasn't just yet.

I know it's my fault once again. I knew I can't do the plate last night because I didn't have O.T. and instead of directly going home after work, I went with the other agents to the Cable Car, at their prodding, and flirted with Shiela over the phone (I finally have one again, paging hold-uppers!!). Engr. Anastacio once said that we should keep our social lives intact. I don't think that is what he meant by that, keeping pace with your social events while setting aside a school paper, but I think he meant that I should give my girlfriend, Mench at least a quality time, who I haven't been seeing and I have been taking for granted again, for almost three weeks now.

Next week, we're back down to hell again for the Finals and there's just so many things I still have to do, I'm not sure if I'm still alive by that time.

(dis)connecting people
Saturday, September 03, 2005 @ 11:43 PM 0 comments

I went to work today two hours ahead of the time.I came in prepared with biscuits and coffee sachets for the Saturday O.T. The guards on the 19th floor of RCBC were stunned to see me there as I was not surprised to see that I was the very first agent to arrive. It was only a quarter past six.

Armed with Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (I've been rereading it, in the hope that Dumbledore's not going to die on the second read) and my coffee tumbler as I wandered around the RCBC Plaza while also taking advantage of the company phone all for myself.

Twenty minutes before 9:00 pm, I was still the only agent around, one of the guards asked me again if I was certain that we have work tonight, then I remembered Roselle telling me one time that they were being informed thru text if the shifts were canceled. When the clock strucked 9, I knew that I have made another stupid mistake.
Caused by this already shameful incident, one shameful thing has remained widely to be seen: I am the only agent on my entire program who didn't have a phone.

twelve days rail
Friday, September 02, 2005 @ 1:52 PM 0 comments

My sister is in seventh heaven. She has been going out with a childhood crush for a few weeks now after she finally ended her almost 5-year relationship with John. Though I've never really approved of him before, I can't help feeling sorry for John. He's already 31 and probably thinking about settling down with Annalyn but due to his lack of sense of independence and other unresolved matters, my sister had to make the decision, and though she's not closing her doors in true finality for him, I think that, basing on how she frequently asks me if she looks happy right now (I asked her to ask me without smiling), it will take a very long time if they will ever be together again.

A few days ago, I went to work feeling odd. I had the feeling that something wrong's gonna happen that night. I was on the last chapters of the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and albeit Julius tried to spoil Hogwarts again by telling me who's gonna die after I called him up during my break, it didn't stop me for feeling bad about it just the same. It has been a long time since the last time that a book has moved me, and if I didn't remember that I was finishing the book on the stairs of a bank entrance in Guadalupe at 3:00 am in the morning, I could've cried with Harry when Dumbledore died.

I have been denied my supposedly first quarterly bonus. My supervisor accounts it to my failure to reach the 80 percent grade in my scorecard. He showed me that I missed by one percent and it's a little bit frustrating that though I trying to work for eight hours for a couple of times now, I'm still the lowest paid in my team.

Some people are thinking that I should make a choice if I should stay with Mench or I try it out again with Shiela (she's in Cebu right now with her family so my life had been relatively peaceful here in Manila for the past fortnight). I know this is a crossroad, and I don't know which better path to take. After a few days of thinking hard, I gave up and now I'm letting things happen as it is. I don't want to push myself in making a decision if I'm not sure where it's going to take me. I've had my share of mistakes, and actually most of my decisions proved to be mistakes in the end, and I'm fed up with that. And as the old saying goes "Not everything that can make you happy is right for you", I'm trying to face life as it comes to me now, leaving everything to fate like I always did.

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